Futures Forum: Concerns for campaigning: Lobbying Bill rejected by Lords
will return to the Lords once more:
38 Degrees | Blog | Gagging law: we won the argument but lost the vote
BBC Democracy Live - Lobbying bill timetable branded an 'absolute disgrace'
Lobbying Bill shows 'contempt' as 'charity gagging' plans return to Commons | Western Daily Press
With East Devon's two MPs voting with the government:
An interesting comment:
Sir Peter Bottomley has branded constituents as stupid and a nuisance for emailing MP’s about issues such as the Lobbying Bill because it causes them so much work, see above. Hugo Swire seems to side step extra work generated by nuisance constituents writing to him about any issue by not replying to them directly but simply issuing a statement on his web site , always pro party-line of course.
see: http://www.hugoswire.org.uk/transparency-lobbying-non-party-campaigning-and-trade-union-administration-bill for his highly glossed spin on the lobbying bill.
He seems to be congratulating the government for giving the Lords extra time to respond but then of course like the EDDC they just go ahead and do what they wanted to do in the first place so that they can get the gagging orders ready for the 2015 election. This sounds very self serving.
Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill | Hugo Swire
Meanwhile, public speaking is going to be limited at District Council meetings:
(c) Where the public wish to raise a question on an issue
which is not included as an agenda item for the
meeting, this to be submitted in writing to Democratic
Services in advance (two clear working days before
the meeting) to enable a considered response to be
given in writing at the meeting if time permits. The
speaker who has submitted the question two clear
days in advance to be able to ask a supplementary
question relevant to the original question. Two days’
notice is not required if the question being put to the
Committee relates to a subject already included as an
Whilst it seems, therefore, that holding the District Council to account might be more difficult, it also seems that the District Council has not been held in great esteem of late, with the number of complaints against Councillors hitting a record:
Complaints against councillors in East Devon “way higher” than in other councils | Exeter Express and Echo
Futures Forum: "The incidence of complaints in East Devon was 'way higher' than in other councils..."
Meanwhile, the letters pages of the Herald have been voicing concern about the treatment of Independent Cllr Roger Giles over his revelation of Ottery Town Council meetings with the county's 'leading house-builder':
Whose agenda? - Letters - Sidmouth Herald
Secrecy mistake - Letters - Sidmouth Herald
Councillor criticised over ‘breach of rules’ - News - Sidmouth Herald
Probe launched over claims Ottery St Mary councillor is guilty of disclosing confidential information | Exeter Express and Echo
It is in this context that Independent Cllr Claire Wright has voiced misgivings about the influence of big business:
Indeed, the relationship between developers and council has been under the spotlight in East Devon lately:
Futures Forum: Development: 'commercial confidentiality', being held to 'ransom' and developers picking holes in each other’s sites.
The now-defunct, but at its time highly influential, East Devon Business Forum was largely made up of the District's larger companies:
The fiction that the EDBF represents all types of businesses in the district is exposed... by looking at the main attendees at their meetings.
And the District Council was more than happy to 'do business' with this grouping:
East Devon Business Forum, 3 February 2011
Report by Karime Hassan, Corporate Director
Councillor Graham Brown was pleased to report that Karime Hassan, Corporate Director, had agreed to make a report to the Forum.
Karime Hassan reported that the biggest challenge facing the Business Forum was ensuring that there was a clear voice from business in East Devon. Before the formation of the Business Forum, engaging with business in East Devon had not always been easy, whereas in Exeter City there was a single voice for business. It had always easier to engage with resident groups and those who opposed development rather than those who were supportive. He confirmed that the regulatory regime that local authorities imposed could be felt to stifle business, particularly within the planning process. The way the local authority engaged with business was a matter of fundamental importance and had improved greatly due to the relationship EDDC had established with the Business Forum.
The greater weight that had been given to the views of business since the establishment of the Business Forum was recognised, particularly over issues such as the lack of employment land supply.
Karime Hassan reported that the establishment of East Devon Business Forum had made his job as Corporate Director of EDDC easier as it was the voice of business in East Devon.
Chairman makes decision to postpone next Business TAFF meeting | Save Our Sidmouth
Futures Forum: Lobbying: East Devon Business Forum
New report: Scaring the living daylights out of people
To conclude: A challenge to George Monbiot from political theorist Kevin Carson on the relationship between big business on big government:
The Distorting Effects of Transportation Subsidies
OCTOBER 22, 2010 by KEVIN A. CARSON
The Distorting Effects of Transportation Subsidies : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education
Center for a Stateless Society » Kevin Carson